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RAPTURE AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION

RAPTURE AND THE GREAT TRIBULATION

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Rapture and the Great Tribulation settles the controversy over the doctrine of Rapture; its moment of occurance and the subject of Great Tribulation. so many people have argued that there is nothing like Rapture. Some say, "you cannot find such word in the Bible". However, the pages of this book will open your eyes to relevant Bible passages where this important doctrine is thought.
Rapture and the Great Tribulation settles the controversy over the doctrine of Rapture; its moment of occurance and the subject of Great Tribulation. so many people have argued that there is nothing like Rapture. Some say, "you cannot find such word in the Bible". However, the pages of this book will open your eyes to relevant Bible passages where this important doctrine is thought.

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Published by: Chaplain Rev. Festus A. Ekenyere on Sep 27, 2009
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RAPTUREAnd theGREAT TRIBULATIONByRev. Festus A. EkenyereAll rights reserved®Rev. Festus A. EkenyereNo part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ortransmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy,recording, or any others without the written prior permission of the Publisher.National Library of Nigeria Cataloguing in Publication DataEKENYERE, Festus A.Rapture and the Great Tribulation.1.Rapture (Christian eschatology).2.Tribulation (Christain eschatology). I. Title.BT 887. E34 1996 236.9ISNB 978-32046-3-7 AACR2Published by: LATTER DAY PUBLISHERSP. O. Box 1803MAIDUGURI.BORNO STATE. NIGERIACONTENTINTRODUCTION31. THE CONTROVERSIAL RAPTURE52.THE GREAT TRIBULATION163.CONCLUSION46INTRODUCTION
 
This is one of the subjects that need to be properly taught and understoodby both the clergy and the laity. “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians1:27. We have so much neglected the most glorious event that will happen to everyserious-minded child of God. Will the Christian be caught up from this earth? Orwill he suffer the wrath of God with the unbelievers? If Christ is in you, what isyour hope of glory?There are so many schools of thought arguing one aspect or the other of thissubject under review. Let us consider a few of them briefly.a.POST-TRIBULATIONISM:This school of thought believes that the Christian will undergo the wrath of Godknown as the “Great Tribulation”. They are waiting for the revelation of theantichrist as a major sign before the rapture of the church. They base theirassertion on Matthew 24; Mark 13 and Luke 21. Please compare these Gospelscarefully with the twenty-one judgments of the great tribulation recorded in thebook of Revelation.b.MID-TRIBULATIONISM:This school of thought believes that the church will pass through the greattribulation but will be raptured at the very middle of it. This means that thechurch will suffer the wrath of God for a period of three and half years then, beraptured. They are also waiting for the manifestation of the antichrist as a majorsign. They base their assumption of Revelation 6:9-11.From biblical point of view, I do not believe in any of the above. We manydisagree as to agree later. One point remains outstanding – Jesus is coming backagain. The only danger you may face even if you are born again is this – “SoChrist was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for himshall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” – Hebrews 9:28. Canyou sense the danger I am taking about? –“… and unto them that look for him shallhe appear the second time”. Who are you looking for? Christ or the antichrist?I know you must have been asking for the school of thought I belong to. Well, I AMA PRE-TRIBULATIONIST. This school of thought believes that the church of JesusChrist will not suffer the great tribulation with the unbelievers. When you finishgoing through the first chapter of this book, you will definitely understand whatI mean.Nevertheless, whatever is your belief, I wish to see you on the streets of heavenone day, provided you are born twice. However, if you have not have born again,this is an opportunity for you to quickly surrender your life to the Lordship ofJesus Christ. Why should you go through this world without Jesus? That is theworst risk you can take. Please I urge you to take a decision now as you turn tothe last pages of this book for directions. God bless you as you do that.We do not need a prophet to prophesy to us that one day this world will come to anend. Events in recent years have demonstrated that a time of severe hardship is athand. We will look into that in the second chapter. It is a nice, educativejourney so; let us go through the pages together.May the good Lord grant you insight into all spiritual truth.CHAPTER ONETHE CONTROVERSIAL RAPTUREThe doctrine of “Rapture” has raised a lot of dust here and there. It is socontroversial that some renowned ministers of God do not want to discuss it. Yet
 
this is the hope of every genuine Christian. The understanding that one day I willbe taken away from this sinful world makes me more zealous for God.So many people have argued that there is nothing like “Rapture”. Some say, “Youcannot find such word in the Bible”. That is right. My question has always been –can you find the word Bible in the Bible? Of course not. You can only find theword Scripture. That the word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible does not becloudits Christian use. It is the most exciting thing that would happen to any child ofGod whether dead or alive.The word “Rapture” is translated from the Greek word “Haparzo”. The Latintranslation is “Rapio”. This means a “sudden snatching away from” or “to be caughtup from”. The apostle Paul used this word as he wrote to the church inThessalonica thus – “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christshall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up togetherwith them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be withthe Lord.” I Thess. 4:16-17. We will discover other passages of the Scripturewhere this word is used in due course. But with this we are certain that “Rapture”is in the Bible. Now we can define it as the event which suddenly snatches awaythe children of God (the Church) dead or alive from the earth when Jesus appearsin the clouds. Let us start our investigations from the Old Testament.OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLES OF RAPTUREa. ENOCH“And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: {Methuselah: Gr.Mathusala} And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundredyears, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundredsixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God tookhim.” Genesis 5:21-24.Even though the Bible does not tell us the means by which Enoch was taken from theearth, Enoch did not die. He walked so righteously with God that God decided totake him alive. This is a clear possibility of rapture.b. NOAH AND HIS FAMILY“And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for theehave I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Genesis 7:1.Here is a picture of God’s faithfulness and mercy upon the righteous. Noah livedin a perverse generation. Speaking about Noah’s generation, the Bible says – “AndGod looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh hadcorrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh iscome before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, Iwill destroy them with the earth. {with the earth: or, from the earth}” Genesis6:12-13.You can see the degree of evil in Noah’s generation and the verdict of God is – “Iwill destroy them the earth.” That generation was destroyed by flood except therighteous family of Noah. The account of the flood is given in Genesis chapters 6-8.God asked Noah to build an ark of gopher wood with rooms, doors and windows. Afterhe finished constructing the ark, God asked him to go into it with his family –“and Noah went in, and his sons, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark,because of the waters of the flood.” Genesis 7:7.That was a wonderful separation. Before God unleashed His wrath upon theunrighteous generation of Noah, He separated Noah and his family. What a symbol ofrapture!c.LOT AND FAMILY“And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said,Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain;escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.Haste thee, escape thither; for Icannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was

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